North Carolina Officials Closing in on Elusive Emu

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (CN) – Settling down this week after months on the run, a rogue emu known as Eno is closer to being captured by authorities the bird has thus far evaded in the center of North Carolina, according to Orange County officials.

The emu was reportedly first spotted in Orange County in early June. Eno has since risen to stardom for occasional sightings and eluding capture.

Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto said in a statement that his officers have responded to sightings of the emu as they were reported.

It is unknown where Eno came before roaming the North Carolina countryside unbridled. A handful of emu farms are scattered throughout the state, but none so far have claimed ownership of the rambling bird.

Within a few weeks this week, Eno was the face of a new tourism campaign by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau that asked, “Have you seen this Emu?” Social media users speckled the internet with old-fashioned wanted posters and mugshots depicting the flightless bird, and Eno’s apparent fan base expanded.

The Orange County government published an update on social media platforms Monday, confirming Eno has finally settled down in a specific area within the county.

The Animal Services Department said that after consulting several emu experts, it left food and water out in hopes of containing Eno.

“As he gets more comfortable, it will be easier to corral him safely,” the county said in a statement.

Officials reiterated the importance of giving Eno space as it has done many times throughout the summer. On Aug. 4, it released a statement telling anyone who encounters the bird not to attempt a citizens’ capture.

“They can run up to 30 mph and have sharp claws and a very strong kick,” the county warned.

If officers are able to nab the bird, Marotto said, they are working to find someone to adopt it.

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